Residential Standby Generator Installation – Do you really need one??

When the super storm Sandy hit in 2012 residential standby generator installation numbers increased tenfold. The North East coast was slammed with power outages, homes were lost and damaged, many people didn’t know where to turn.

The storm left dozens dead, thousands homeless and millions without power. Total damage was expected to be in the billions of dollars. With all this devastation a residential standby generator installed in your home may not have made much of a difference if your house is flooded with water or a tree comes crashing through the roof.

Some families homes were not harmed by the storm but they still lost electricity for weeks. Residential Standby Generator Installation cannot prevent natural disasters but they can play a huge role in making it through the aftermath.

Who should install your generator?

Many people believe that installing a standby generator is a trivial task. There are tons of paperwork and planning that goes into the installation of a standby generator whether it for commercial or residential use. There are a few tradesmen necessary in the task of installing a residential standby generator. The list is as follows:

  • Electrician
  • Plumber
  • Carpenter
  • Mason

Two of the four tradesmen will always be necessary I will give more details to that later on in this post. Always have a certified generator dealer install your residential standby generator working together as a team to install your standby generator. There are certain classes and certifications that the installer should have under the belt before they come to install your unit, to ensure correct install and safety.

Electricians usually have the brunt of the work dealing the physical install of the standby generator rerouting of the wiring through the electrical panel, the meter pan and the Automatic Transfer Switch aka A.T.S. The electrician is reasonable for making sure the generators install is up to code and safe for the customer.

Plumbers handle the installation of the gas line to supply natural gas to the generator. Carpenters and Masons may come in handy to for any custom builds needed in cases where the unit has to be high off the ground or the customer wants the generator fenced in.

The right size generator.

To size the generator a load calculation is very important. The electrical panel may have a 100, 200 or in some cases 400 amp main breaker, this represents the full load the resident’s service can handle before the main breaker trips from an overload. When selecting a standby generator one should know what size electrical service is provided to their residence.

The next step would be selecting the correct size standby generator for the customers needs. Some people would like the generator to cover the entire home, some would like the generator to cover part of the home just a couple of bedrooms and the essential appliances.

It all depends on the square footage of the home and the number of appliances that need electricity and Then an electrician can let the customer know how many kilowatts would be necessary to cover the entire house or just the essentials.

Where should the generator be installed.

First and foremost the standby generator should always be installed in the open air, there is an engine and exhaust being released from the unit which can lead to sickness even death do to carbon monoxide poisoning if the generator is not well ventilated to the outside. Carbon Monoxide is a poisonous, colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that byproduct of exhaust when an engine is running. Its side effects are headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion and loss of consciousness.

Every state, city and township has different variances, rules and regulations on where the standby generator can be installed in relation to the residence. Some towns only want generators installed in the rear of the house, in other townships the generator can only be mounted 3-4 foot off the ground level. So before purchasing a standby generator be aware of the towns codes and regulations.

There are clearances that have to be followed for life safety purposes. For example the exhaust end of the generator should be at least six feet away from any window door leading into the residences and the exhaust end cannot be within 3 feet of bushes and shrubs do to risk of fire.

Advantages and Disadvantages of having a generator


  • Having peace of mind that you have a back up plan for emergencies,
  • The generators ATS should transfer power with 10 seconds of a power outage which is faster than most people can find a flashlight
  • Food will remain cold and not spoil
  • Power will remain on.
  • During the winter time no worries about frozen pipes
  • The possibility of discounts on Homeowners insurance


  • May raise customers taxes
  • They have weekly maintenance which can be annoying and very noisy, some townships may have specific noise oridinaces
  • Family and neighbors who did not plan for the bad times will be all in your house when their lights and power is interrupted.
  • Standby generators can be very costly and have maintenance issues.

Is it really necessary or are you trying to keep up with the Jones.

At the end of the day it’s all about doing what’s right for one’s family. Some people do not have a standby generator but have game plan set up in case there ever was an emergency whereas some individuals with generators have no game plan set up and believe the standby generator will be their savior.

Through the many times I have played a role in installing of standby generators for customers, I’ve noticed that many customers felt the necessity to have a generator only because their neighbor had one installed or it was an item they felt would help in selling their property or anything else aside for what the main purpose of having the generator is restoring power seamlessly (uninterrupted).

**People that really need generators are people that work from home and people that have home medical equipment. Their life and livelihood depend on having power and the functionality of their home.**

There are many customers that invest thousands of dollars into a generator that they never understand how it functions or what it takes to maintain the unit. In the time of need the negligence shows when storms hit and generators do kick on do to poor maintenance and neglect.

So choose wisely when looking to purchase a Residential Standby Generator for your home. There are many factors to be aware of in order to have uninterrupted power in the time of a power outage. Hopefully this article was helpful and if you could need a generator installed feel free to contact us for an estimate today.

Sincerely Yours,

Rayvonn Mercado

Owner and Organizer of

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